A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about monastery

What happened to our lovely made momos?

Day 5 Gangtok > Rumtek Monastery

Along a narrow winding and very bumpy road it was a morning trip to Rumtek Monastery. Thank goodness it was only 24kms away. Trouble we had to take the same route back.

large_IMG_2332.PNG

large_IMG_0116.JPG

large_IMG_0117.JPG

large_IMG_0118.JPG

large_IMG_0119.JPG

We had breakfast just opposite the Monastery first and more chicken fried rice 140 rupee / NZ$2.90 / US$2.20 and milk tea 20 rupees / NZ$0.40 / US$0.30 =160 rupee / NZ$3.35 / US$2.50 for me.

large_b757cd00-2d48-11e8-9698-c1ea03d5a3a5.JPG

Currently Rumtek Monastery is the largest monastery in Sikkim. Checked out the golden stupa containing relics of the 16th Karmapa. No photos were allowed inside but check out these links.

http://www.rumtek.org/index.php?lang=en

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumtek_Monastery

https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_000106.htm

large_IMG_0122.JPG

large_aee5a160-2d48-11e8-b1fa-4f7d267492a0.JPG

large_IMG_0123.JPG

large_IMG_0124.JPG

large_IMG_0125.JPG

large_IMG_0126.JPG

large_IMG_0127.JPG

large_IMG_0128.JPG

large_IMG_0129.JPG

large_IMG_0130.JPG

large_IMG_0131.JPG

large_IMG_0132.JPG

large_IMG_0133.JPG

large_IMG_0134.JPG

large_IMG_0139.JPG

large_IMG_0140.JPG

large_IMG_0141.JPG

large_IMG_0142.JPG

large_IMG_0135.JPG

Ngaire, Bruce, Ken, JD, Robyn, Sally, Joe, Tova, Hans

Ngaire, Bruce, Ken, JD, Robyn, Sally, Joe, Tova, Hans

large_IMG_0143.JPG

large_IMG_0144.JPG

Our local guide said that people from 5 countries are not permitted into Sikkim: Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Maynmar and Nigeria, though on https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_00015b.htm Nigeria is not listed.

China is only 55 kms away, hence a strong military presence here in Sikkim as we drove around.

I wondered why there were soldiers in the monastery itself. Here is the reason.

Rumtek is at the centre of the Karmapa controversy, with a lengthy battle being played out in the Indian courts. Two rival organisations, each supporting a different candidate for the 17th Karmapa, claim stewardship of the monastery and its contents. The two organisations are the Tsurphu Labrang (supporting Ogyen Trinley Dorje) and the Karmapa Charitable Trust (supporting Trinley Thaye Dorje). Since 1992, the monastery has been the site of pitched battles between monks supporting one candidate or the other.

Neither candidate resides, nor has been enthroned, at Rumtek. Monks supporting Trinley Thaye Dorje (the minority) were thrown out of Rumtek by Indian security forces in order to quell violence between the two factions. Armed Indian soldiers still patrol the monastery to prevent further sectarian violence. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rumtek_Monastery

large_IMG_0145.JPG

large_IMG_0147.JPG

large_IMG_0148.JPG

large_IMG_0149.JPG

large_IMG_0150.JPG

large_IMG_0151.JPG

large_IMG_0152.JPG

large_IMG_0153.JPG

large_IMG_0154.JPG

large_IMG_0155.JPG

large_IMG_0156.JPG

large_IMG_0158.JPG

large_IMG_0159.JPG

large_IMG_0160.JPG

large_IMG_0162.JPG

Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Rumtek+Monastery&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi5yLurnf3ZAhXMVbwKHdkhAlUQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=734

Momo

Momo cooking demonstration back at the hotel and each of us had to make one. Let’s just say that our efforts never came out of the kitchen as I had expected. Anyway we each had a plate made by the chef to eat for our very late lunch. Cabbage, onion, carrot, 50:50 ginger and oil, wheat flour dough, baking powder and tasting powder.

Momo is a type of steamed dumpling with some form of filling. Momo has become a traditional delicacy in Nepal, Tibet and among Nepalese/Tibetan communities in Bhutan as well as people of Sikkim.

A simple white-flour-and-water dough is generally preferred to make the outer momo covering. Sometimes, a little yeast or baking soda is added to give a more doughy texture to the finished product.

Traditionally, momo is prepared with ground/minced meat filling, but over the past several years, this has changed and the fillings have become more elaborate. These days, momo is prepared with virtually any combination of ground meat, vegetables, tofu, paneer cheese, soft chhurpi (local hard cheese) and vegetable and meat combinations.
• Meat: Different types of meat fillings are popular in different regions. In Nepal, Tibet, Darjeeling district, Sikkim and Bhutan, pork, chicken, goat meat and buffalo meat are commonly used. In the Himalayan region of Nepal, lamb and yak meat are more common. Minced meat is combined with any or all of the following: onions/shallots, garlic, ginger and cilantro/coriander. Some people also add finely puréed tomatoes and soy sauce.
• Vegetables: Finely chopped cabbage, potato, flat bean (Lilva Kachori) or chayote (iskush) are used as fillings in Nepal.
• Cheese: Usually fresh cheese (Paneer) or the traditional soft chhurpi is used.
• Khoa: Momo filled with milk solids mixed with sugar are popular as dessert in the Kathmandu valley.

The dough is rolled into small circular flat pieces. The filling is then enclosed in the circular dough cover either in a round pocket or in a half-moon or crescent shape. People prefer meat that has a lot of fat because it produces intensively flavored juicy momos. A little oil is sometimes added to the lean ground/minced meat to keep the filling moist and juicy. The dumplings are then cooked by steaming over a soup (either a stock based on bones or vegetables) in a momo-making utensil called mucktoo. The dumplings may also be pan-fried or deep-fried after being steamed.

There are typically two types of momo, steamed and fried. Momo is usually served with a dipping sauce (locally called chutney/achhar), normally made with tomato as the base ingredient. Soup momo is a dish with steamed momo immersed in a meat broth. Pan-fried momo is also known as kothey momo. Steamed momo served in hot sauce is called C-momo. There are also a variety of dumplings of Nepal, including tingmo and thaipo. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Momo (food)

large_IMG_0165.JPG

Ngaire

Ngaire

large_aeb43120-2d48-11e8-8bb8-cf7aef191bc2.JPG

Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=momos&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwii1JP2m_7ZAhUJErwKHQgrBCkQ_AUICigB&biw=1538&bih=719

IMG_0168.JPGIMG_0169.JPG

Just happened to be in the hotel restaurant and no I didn't ...

large_c66a7180-2d48-11e8-9698-c1ea03d5a3a5.JPG

View from the hotel

large_IMG_0163.JPG

Mahatma Gandhi Marg

A walk along an open air mall Mahatma Gandhi Marg surprised me as I wasn’t expecting anything like this. We could have been in any city. Not the India that I have experienced so far as main city shopping streets are concerned.

https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_000116.htm

large_IMG_0171.JPG

large_IMG_0173.JPG

large_IMG_0182.JPG

large_IMG_0174.JPG

large_IMG_0176.JPG

large_IMG_0177.JPG

IMG_0178.JPGIMG_0179.JPG

large_IMG_0181.JPG

large_IMG_0180.JPG

IMG_0183.JPG

large_IMG_0184.JPG

large_IMG_0185.JPG

large_IMG_0186.JPG

Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Mahatma+Gandhi+Marg+gangtok&tbm=isch

By now I was getting worst and took up the offer of seeing a doctor. 300 rupees/ NZ$6.30 / US$4.65 for consultation plus some medicine (antibiotics, cough medicine) for another 310 rupee / NZ$6.50 / US$4.80 for my annoying cough.

large_IMG_0187.JPG

Taste of Tibet saw us for dinner and I had their House Special Chop Suey 280 rupee / NZ$5.90 / US$4.30.

large_IMG_0190.JPG

Posted by bruceontour 14:23 Archived in India Tagged monastery momo mahatma_gandhi_marg Comments (0)

Exotic and rare collections of cactus plants

Day 3 Jalpāiguri > Kalimpong

Was awake around 5.30am / 05:30 after a restless night’s sleep as several times during the night the fellow passengers in my compartment changed.

Apparently sometime during the night the train was stationery for an hour and that is why we got in to New Jalpaiguri at 7.35am / 07:35 instead of 6.20am / 06:20.

It was a grey foggy dawn that greeted us as we alighted on the platform. Porters took our bags.

IMG_2282.JPG

large_IMG_2283.JPG

IMG_2284.JPG

Chai Chai

Chai Chai

JD negotiating with the porters

JD negotiating with the porters

IMG_2288.JPGIMG_2287.JPG

Clean windows

IMG_2289.JPGIMG_2290.JPGIMG_2291.JPGIMG_2292.JPGIMG_2293.JPG

Follow that green Osprey bag!

large_IMG_2294.JPG

We continued by van to Kalimpong.

large_IMG_9935.JPG

large_IMG_9936.JPG

A 9am / 09:00 breakfast stop at Highway Hotel, Loha Pul, Birik Forest for a plate of egg chow mein / noddle 160 rupees / NZ$3.40 / US$2.50.

How different was the scenery. Had time to stand in the sun and see the brightly painted vehicles go by.

With the steep hillside, single lane roadway twisting and winding its way alongside the flowing rivers and tributaries, it certainly reminded me of Bhutan which was literally only a valley away anyway.

IMG_2297.JPG

large_IMG_9939.JPG

large_IMG_9937.JPG

large_IMG_9941.JPG

large_IMG_9944.JPG

large_IMG_9946.JPG

large_IMG_9947.JPG

IMG_2295.JPGIMG_2296.JPG

IMG_9945.JPGIMG_9940.JPG

large_IMG_9951.JPG

large_IMG_9942.JPG

large_IMG_9949.JPG

large_IMG_9948.JPG

large_IMG_9950.JPG

large_IMG_9952.JPG

large_IMG_9953.JPG

large_IMG_9954.JPG

large_IMG_9955.JPG

large_IMG_9956.JPG

Kalimpong is a hill station in the Indian state of West Bengal. It is located at an average elevation of 1,250 metres / 4,101ft. The town is the headquarters of the Kalimpong district. The Indian Army's 27 Mountain Division is located on the outskirts of the town.

Kalimpong is known for its educational institutions, many of which were established during the British colonial period. It used to be a gateway in the trade between Tibet and India before China's annexation of Tibet and the Sino-Indian War. Kalimpong and neighbouring Darjeeling were major centres calling for a separate Gorkhaland state in the 1980s, and more recently in 2010.

The municipality sits on a ridge overlooking the Teesta River and is a tourist destination owing to its temperate climate, magnificent Himalayan beauty and proximity to popular tourist locations in the region. Horticulture is important to Kalimpong: It has a flower market notable for its wide array of orchids; nurseries, which export Himalayan grown flower bulbs, tubers and rhizomes, contribute to the economy of Kalimpong. Home to Nepalis, non-indigenous Lepchas, other ethnic groups and non-native immigrants from other parts of India, the town is a religious centre of Buddhism. The Buddhist monastery Zang Dhok Palri Phodang holds a number of rare Tibetan Buddhist scriptures. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalimpong

Kalimpong is located at an altitude of 4,100ft. Because of its relatively lower altitude compared to Darjeeling or Gangtok, the weather is milder and pleasant for most part of the year.

https://www.darjeeling-tourism.com/darj_000127.htm

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/west-bengal/kalimpong

https://wikitravel.org/en/Kalimpong

https://www.tourmyindia.com/hill_stations/kalimpong.html

Normally on this tour the train will get in around lunch time. So we had plenty of time after check in for sightseeing firstly at the Pineview Nursery, a private commercial nursery established in 1971. I was surprised to see so many varieties of exotic and rare collections of north, south and central America's cactus plants growing up so high. A real surprise.

large_IMG_9973.JPG

large_IMG_9957.JPG

large_IMG_9958.JPG

large_IMG_9959.JPG

large_IMG_9961.JPG

large_IMG_9960.JPG

large_IMG_9962.JPG

large_IMG_9964.JPG

large_IMG_9963.JPG

large_IMG_9965.JPG

large_IMG_9966.JPG

IMG_9967.JPG

https://1001things.org/pine-view-nursery-kalimpong/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pineview-Nursery-Kalimpong/433968250003927

Here are some more images from their Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=br.AbqToQPHC8xu2DXu7QzBZRHQ4HqDiPDcn-2ToStAiSzyFhkhMP-8YAqOg-a3CqzRs13zlVwocKRGNKk_l39wg8q50I9qy_VKNQ8xBkA0FQA3o5i10RxMqwxWoI8w5Okq6ShfF7PDafWsOrj-nTfeCv_SjKuVv4hmnqRZmFbkRZeMZfjRewM-WmFdnp4LBSSfN05qDnQbeF_8zgKfdOT4Dp6oYoX455k1Va_9vAI_divButLmfdYZPvNmWt28UxP3ado&type=1

Here are some more images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=pineview+nursery+kalimpong&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiS7oCHjfjZAhWMU7wKHZv2BykQ_AUICigB&biw=1536&bih=734&dpr=1.25

From here could see Mt Kangchenjunga the highest mountain in India covered in snow.

large_IMG_2298.JPG

large_IMG_9968.JPG

Kalimpong

Kalimpong

Kalimpong

Kalimpong

IMG_9970.JPG

Then to Durpin Monastery also known as Zang Dog Palri Monastery / Zang Dhok Palri Phodang which is normally not included in this trip but remember because of the change in train timetable we were early arriving here in Kalimpong.

Zang Dhok Palri Phodang is a Buddhist monastery in Kalimpong in West Bengal, India. The monastery is located atop Durpin Hill, one of the two hills of the town. It was consecrated in 1976 by the visiting Dalai Lama.

The monastery houses many rare scriptures that were brought into India after the invasion of Tibet in 1959. It also houses the 108 volumes of the Kangyur. It is also popularly known as the Lava Monastery. The view from the hill-top is breathtaking. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zang_Dhok_Palri_Phodang

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/kalimpong/attractions/durpin-gompa/a/poi-sig/1284685/356542

large_IMG_9974.JPG

large_IMG_9975.JPG

Joe

Joe

large_IMG_9981.JPG

large_IMG_9982.JPG

large_IMG_9983.JPG

IMG_9984.JPG

IMG_9985.JPG

large_IMG_9986.JPG

large_IMG_9987.JPG

A stairway from the side leads up to the top of the monastery and on top of the second floor from the open terrace had a really marvellous view of not only Kalimpong but Mt Kanchenjunga was in the background.

Mt Kangchenjunga is the highest mountain peak in India and ranked third highest summit in the world with an elevation of 8,586m / 28,169ft. See if you can pick out the 5 peaks of which 4 of them are above 8,000m and other is 7,900 m something. It is also called the 5 treasures of snow people of Sikkim and Darjeeling who used to worship this mountain. That is why nobody went on the top of the summit. They had to stop at a point which was marked by the king or you can say the royal family of Sikkim. Thanks JD.

large_IMG_9979.JPG

My opinion is from here there is a much better view of Mt Kangchenjunga than from Pineview Nursery. Add the rolling tea gardens, Teesta and Reang rivers, it was certainly an awesome sight from this viewpoint.

large_IMG_2303.JPG

large_IMG_9988.JPG

large_IMG_2299.JPG

large_IMG_9980.JPG

large_IMG_2300.JPG

large_IMG_9989.JPG

large_IMG_9990.JPG

large_IMG_2302.JPG

large_IMG_9992.JPG

large_IMG_9991.JPG

large_IMG_9993.JPG

large_IMG_9995.JPG

Then lunch across the road from the hotel at Good’s Garden Retreat with for me the Chef’s Special Fried Rice 155 rupees/ NZ$3.25 / US$2.40 plus a BIG pot of tea to warm me up 120 rupees / NZ$2.50 / US$1.85 = 289 rupees / NZ$6.10 / US$4.50.

IMG_2305.JPGIMG_2306.JPG
IMG_2307.JPGIMG_2308.JPG

Off for some more sightseeing taking in views of the mountainous scenery with a stop at Deolo Hill, home to the highest point in Kalimpong. Pity we couldn’t enjoy the mountain scenery views because of the haze plus it was getting a bit nippy. With the haziness I’m not surprised that nobody was paragliding. Plus there are so few western tourists around ... perhaps the local domestic tourist paraglide?

Deolo Hill is one of the two hills that the town of Kalimpong stands between. Kalimpong is situated on a ridge connecting the two hills, Durpin and Deolo. The hill is 1,704 metres / 5,590 feet above msl and is the highest point of Kalimpong town.

On a clear day, the snow-clad mountains of West Sikkim are also visible from this hill. At the summit of this hill, there is a park built for recreation purposes which feature exotic flowers. The park is a popular picnic spot for tourists as well as locals. Near the park a Hindu temple is also a visited spot. Overall Deolo provides a panoramic 360 degree view of Kalimpong town and its neighbouring hills. Thanks Mr Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deolo_Hill

large_IMG_9996.JPG

large_IMG_9997.JPG

large_IMG_9998.JPG

IMG_9999.JPG1ffe22a0-2baf-11e8-ae3b-89df2b42043b.JPG

large_22a65f40-2baf-11e8-a9fb-51a2da3ec1a4.JPG

large_2fb878d0-2baf-11e8-bf37-f13250a62a98.JPG

269a07a0-2baf-11e8-ab95-b999d7e133ba.JPG

large_163540a0-2baf-11e8-ae3b-89df2b42043b.JPG

large_25f933c0-2baf-11e8-bf37-f13250a62a98.JPG

large_22da8ea0-2baf-11e8-b781-2b89c817097e.JPG

What does it looks like on a clear day? Here are some images from Dr “Google”:

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Deolo+Hill&rlz=1C1GGRV_enNZ751NZ751&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiLz-HBiPjZAhUIwLwKHWH8BHoQ_AUICigB&biw=1534&bih=728

I am not feeling right 100% with similar symptoms to what I had in Madurai some 10 days ago …. sore throat, then an odd cough every so often and all my muscles and bones feeling weak, no energy and simply “yucky”.

King Thai Hotel back in town right by Kalimpong Market Square and as we walked in their blackboard menu had Chinese BBQ Chicken 150 rupees/ NZ$3.20 / US$2.30 so why not? I kind of expected rice to come with it but not so. It was just the chicken. Masala tea was 150 rupees / NZ$3.20 / US$2.30 equals 300 rupee / NZ$6.30 / US$4.65 all up.

IMG_2314.JPG

large_IMG_2310.JPG

IMG_2312.JPG

IMG_2311.JPG

IMG_2313.JPG

Mountain View Hotel had no heating so it will be cold night? Hopefully not cold by paying 100 rupees / NZ$2.10 / US$1.50 for a heater.

large_IMG_2315.JPG

Will probably be wearing all my 3 layers of merino and lightweight fleece jacket tomorrow.

Posted by bruceontour 12:06 Archived in India Tagged monastery mt_kangchenjunga Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]